Rural Michigan

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Whitmer orders restrictions in Upper Peninsula as coronavirus cases spike

Whitmer orders restrictions in Upper Peninsula as coronavirus cases spike

October 2, 2020 | Riley Beggin, Paula Gardner

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer requires the U.P. to adhere to the same guidelines as most of the Lower Peninsula. The move comes as cases have exploded in western counties near Wisconsin.

A rural Michigan district has 15 COVID cases, one death, and few answers

A rural Michigan district has 15 COVID cases, one death, and few answers

September 29, 2020 | Ron French

Health officials say the school followed safety protocols, and the cases that suddenly proliferated in Carson City show how a coronavirus outbreak can happen anywhere. The district has ended in-person classes.

Unfazed by crises, northern Michigan embraces Trump record on jobs, abortion

Unfazed by crises, northern Michigan embraces Trump record on jobs, abortion

September 24, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Welcome to Missaukee County, where 3 of 4 voters backed Donald Trump four years ago and voters say racial injustice and the coronavirus aren’t pressing issues. Trump needs to dominate in such rural areas if he hopes to repeat in November, experts say.

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula getting hit hard by surge of coronavirus cases

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula getting hit hard by surge of coronavirus cases

September 24, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

After months of relatively few cases, the Upper Peninsula has seen coronavirus case counts soar, with most in the western part of the region along the border with Wisconsin.

First Person | I opened schools early. Then COVID struck. I stand by the call.

First Person | I opened schools early. Then COVID struck. I stand by the call.

September 21, 2020 | Keith Smith

No doubt, the coronavirus is dangerous, but so is social isolation, writes a superintendent, whose district had the first student in northern Michigan test positive for COVID-19.

Coronavirus kept us home, igniting real estate frenzy in northern Michigan

Coronavirus kept us home, igniting real estate frenzy in northern Michigan

September 17, 2020 | Paula Gardner

Prices are climbing and competition is fierce as traditionally slow areas of Michigan become real-estate hotspots. No longer geographically tied to their workplaces and enjoying low interest rates, buyers are sparking a ‘feeding frenzy’ in northern Michigan.

How a few coronavirus cases ended classes at a rural Michigan school

How a few coronavirus cases ended classes at a rural Michigan school

September 14, 2020 | Ron French

For every student that tested positive, there were dozens of friends or classmates found to be in close contact with them, sidelining them from the classroom as well.

First Person | Back to school in Michigan: Too new, weird and heartbreaking

First Person | Back to school in Michigan: Too new, weird and heartbreaking

September 8, 2020 | Stella Govitz

An 11th-grader in Beaverton in central Michigan returns to school. Mask compliance is shaky. Emotions are raw. And students and teachers are doing their best to cope with a bizarre new reality.

Pandemic brings record crowds to Michigan parks. (And trash and trouble)

Pandemic brings record crowds to Michigan parks. (And trash and trouble)

August 17, 2020 | Kelly House

Parks, harbors, campgrounds and beaches are seeing big upticks in visitors this summer, as COVID-19 restricts summer travel options and vacationers embrace outdoor recreation for its built-in social distancing.

$5 million in federal grants not a lot to solve Michigan’s rural opioid crisis

$5 million in federal grants not a lot to solve Michigan’s rural opioid crisis

August 11, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

One mental health official says the funds “won’t go very far at all,” as the state’s opioid overdose rates start to climb once again after the coronavirus outbreak hit Michigan in the spring.

PPE turns into ‘tremendous’ opportunity for Reed City factory

PPE turns into ‘tremendous’ opportunity for Reed City factory

July 24, 2020 | Paula Gardner

Thirty jobs created during the COVID-19 pandemic is one sign that Reed City Group’s diversification into medical equipment is paying off.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to reopen northern Michigan by Memorial Day weekend

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to reopen northern Michigan by Memorial Day weekend

May 18, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting, Kelly House

Gretchen Whitmer announces bars, restaurants and other retail establishments in 32 northern Michigan counties can reopen with some restrictions on Friday. And she hints that she could announce this week that more areas can reopen.

Coronavirus has spared the Keweenaw Peninsula but may kill summer tourism

Coronavirus has spared the Keweenaw Peninsula but may kill summer tourism

May 18, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

Untouched until now by COVID-19, this Upper Peninsula tourist haven needs thousands of downstate visitors to keep its economy alive. The opening of restaurants and bars may not be enough to save many of its businesses.

With higher suicide risk during coronavirus, Michigan makes plans to help

With higher suicide risk during coronavirus, Michigan makes plans to help

May 5, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

Mental health advocates highlight a rise in anxiety from the pandemic and economic disruption in Michigan, as experts devise ways to help health care workers and ordinary residents in an extraordinary time.

Few coronavirus cases, lots of land. Should northern Michigan reopen?

Few coronavirus cases, lots of land. Should northern Michigan reopen?

May 3, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson, Kelly House

Northern Michigan has more than half of the state’s land mass and 2 percent of its coronavirus cases. As Gov. Whitmer says she’ll take geography into account to reopen the economy, Bridge examines regional differences in cases, hospital capacity, testing and unemployment.

Opinion | Michigan’s rural communities, schools are being overlooked again

Opinion | Michigan’s rural communities, schools are being overlooked again

April 27, 2020 | Ellen Offen

What do our leaders think is going to happen in the years to come if our national response to COVID-19 is only to bail out big corporations while small towns in Michigan and across the country get a drop in the bucket?

Some in Michigan make more from unemployment than work during coronavirus

Some in Michigan make more from unemployment than work during coronavirus

April 26, 2020 | Paula Gardner

Businesses in the northeast Lower Peninsula say some workers are not quite ready to return to their jobs, given the boost in income they receive from special federal and state funding during the pandemic lockdown.

Rural Michigan hospitals gutted by coronavirus, even those without cases

Rural Michigan hospitals gutted by coronavirus, even those without cases

April 23, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

A halt on elective surgeries cripples rural hospitals with few or no coronavirus patients.

Five counties in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula await arrival of coronavirus

Five counties in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula await arrival of coronavirus

April 21, 2020 | Ashley Wong

Some of Michigan’s most remote regions have so far been spared, at least in what’s been officially recorded. With a vast geography, few tests and even fewer hospital beds, they wait and hope for the best. 

In rural Michigan, teacher mourns coronavirus loss not counted in hospitals

In rural Michigan, teacher mourns coronavirus loss not counted in hospitals

April 12, 2020 | Ron French

The learning deficit that a Mayville third-grade teacher fears from her “kiddos” being out of classrooms for nearly six months is playing out across the state.

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